Bank of Canada survey suggests business sentiment picked up after declining

The Canadian economy hit a weak spot late last year as oil prices fell

Business sentiment in Canada has picked up to show a slight improvement after falling earlier this year, according to a new survey by the Bank of Canada.

The central bank said Friday that its summer business outlook survey, which measures corporate expectations, bounced back after falling into negative territory at the start the year.

READ MORE: Bank of Canada identifies climate change as important economic weak spot

“The business outlook survey indicator edged up to its historical average consistent with a slight improvement in business sentiment,” the Bank of Canada said in its latest quarterly survey of senior management at roughly 100 firms.

The business outlook survey, which was done in May and early June, found that following some softness in past sales, businesses expected an increase in sales growth over the coming year backed by domestic and foreign demand.

“Sales optimism is concentrated in Central Canada and includes positive expectations for housing activity. Nevertheless firms anticipate weakness in sales tied to the Western Canadian oil industry to persist,” the report said.

The Canadian economy hit a weak spot late last year as oil prices fell and the country posted its weakest back-to-back quarters of growth since 2015.

The central bank’s spring business outlook survey indicator dropped into negative territory in the wake of that weakness, however recent data has shown an improving economy.

Last month, Carolyn Wilkins, the central bank’s senior deputy governor, said growth was accelerating in the second quarter and should pick up the pace throughout the rest of 2019.

Statistics Canada reported Friday real gross domestic product grew 0.3 per cent in April to kick off the second quarter.

The result was down from a showing of 0.5 per cent in March, but more than the 0.1 per cent economists had expected, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

The Bank of Canada’a business outlook survey noted Friday that intentions to increase investment spending and to hire are positive in most regions and sectors.

Reports of labour shortages increased from a low level last quarter, but the bank noted thy were not widespread.

“Firms often reported shortages of skilled or specialized labour,” the report said. “Nearly half of all respondents judged labour shortages to be unchanged compared with 12 months ago, with some indicating that hiring has been difficult for more than a year.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

How to solve a problem like what play to put on at D.W. Poppy

Langley School performs The Sound of Music, Feb. 26 to 29

Fort Gallery features three budding Langley Fine Arts musicians at fourth Friday event

Trio made up of youths Sam Meyer, Tiffany Pai, and Cindy Zhang will perform on Feb. 28

“Better nudes” artist asks for better gallery space in Langley

Susan Falk is presenting her art work at Landmark Pop-Uptown Gallery in White Rock, March 4 to 28

Langley theatre director aims to show ‘people are all closer than what we perceive’

Canadian premiere of Trans Scripts, Part I: The Women runs March 12 to 21 at Firehall Arts Centre

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Winds up to 70 km/hr expected across Metro Vancouver

Winds are expected to subside overnight

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Fraser Health warns some schools of possible COVID-19 exposure

A sixth COVID-19 patient is a woman in her 30s in the Fraser Health region who recently returned from Iran

High-risk sex offender cuts off ankle bracelet, on the loose in Vancouver: police

Vancouver police said Kirstjon Olson, 38, is a provincial sex offender with 27 court-ordered conditions

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Most Read